It Doesn’t Get Any Worse

Are you overwhelmed, defeated, rejected, disappointed, and depressed? You’re in good company. So am I.

I wrote to Steve Brown of it. He’s a radio talk show host. He’s always upbeat. Funny. Honest about life. I love him.

Here’s what he said to me:

“As for where is God when you’re feeling like this, there are no easy answers. I wish that there were.

“I see people struggling and in pain every day who, if I loved them, I would treat them better than God does.

“Charles Spurgeon said that ‘when you can’t trace God’s hand, trust His heart.’

“The alternative to this is only bitterness, rejection and meaninglessness.

“Always remember that your faith is based on the suffering of Christ on the cross…and it doesn’t get any worse than that.

“God’s tears really do mix with our own and He says, in essence, ‘If I could have done it another way, I would have.’

“One other quote, this one by C.S. Lewis:

‘The terrible thing is that a perfectly good God is in this matter is hardly less formidable than a cosmic sadist. The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man might be bribed – might grow tired of his vile sport – might have a temporary fit of mercy, as alcoholics have fits of sobriety. But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good? The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us? Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For not even a modestly good being could possibly inflict or permit them it they weren’t. Either way, we’re in for it.'”

The bottom line is: God loves us so much that he’s determined to make us like Jesus. That’s what we signed up for when he took us out of Adam and placed us in Christ.

“So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” – 1 Peter 4:19 (New Living Translation)

10 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Get Any Worse

  1. Ouch– it hurts even to read that. For those really in the furnace of affliction, there may be some comfort, but if things are going relatively well…it is a sobering reminder.

    1. Everybody goes through times of affliction, but it’s only those who belong to him know that something good is being formed from it. The others just push back and learn nothing.

  2. I’m in the furnace, and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that there is such encouragement in this. I just spoke to a friend on the phone who is lovely and kind, and incredibly sweet, but she doesn’t know Jesus. Her life seems to be going well, and everything is good, at least according to what she related to me on the phone. But I’d rather be His, will all my mess than to have a life that is “going well” with my heart estranged from God, and with no realization that I had any need of Him. The things that I often think are liabilities are the very things that keep me near Messiah’s cross! I may not enjoy the splinters, but I need them!

    1. Thanks for responding. It’s interesting when you’re in the furnace of affliction nothing helps like the hard edges of truth.

  3. very encouraging indeed! I especially love that Spurgeon quote about trusting the heart of God even when you can’t see His hand. We are such short sighted people (or just plain out blind!) and our hope is in a God whose faithfulness depends on Him… a good reminder of where to look in times of despair! thanks!

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